Skip the tablecloths – wacky wedding placemats for the win!

February 2 | Guest post by Liz

The idea of spending money on tablecloths that are guaranteed to be stained with bbq sauce (to the tune of 120 bucks) made me angry and frustrated. How would I wash them? How could I throw them away? I didn't personally feel good about plastic ones in part because the way the plastic sounds — when it rubs against itself it's like fingernails on the chalkboard to me (heebiejeebies).

So, after a festive jaunt to a local fast-food place, I had an epiphany.

I don't need them! It's much easier to wash the tables themselves.

Then another epiphany, while throwing away the refuse… paper placemats!

So I got home and got to designing and have come up with these babies for our medieval-inspired ("Liz and Kevin are Weird and in Love" – themed) wedding dinner.

placemat_final_low_res

It was really fun to work on this together and be giant kids. We plan to put them on the tables with some crayons for all our kids-at-heart to enjoy.

And in case you all would like something similar, I'm listing the links for do-it-yourself game creations:

  1. This is great – I needed these links for the activity books for the children who will be in attendance at our ceremony!

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  2. That's spectacular! We're thinking of doing something similar, but with Mad Libs. We may have to expand it to include some of the stuff you have here – I love it all!

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  3. This is perfect!!!! I am totally using this idea! I was kicking around the idea of vinyl table clothes, with our theme sewed on, but I love these more! We are having a BBQ reception, this really is perfect and I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it!!

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  4. OMG!!! THAT IS BY FAR THE COOLEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN!!! EVER!!! We are having a BBQ Reception as well and I hope you don't mind but I'm totally high jacking your amazing idea of place mats because like I said they are super cool and me and my fiancee are total losers and big kids at heart so place mats are perfect!

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  5. I was appalled at the price for renting tablecloths too. If the tables themselves aren't in great shape, I thought I still might need them. So, I remembered that there is a hotel liquidation store in my area. I went to it tonight and found all the linens I'll need for my wedding (about 120 people) for $70! At that price, I can afford to get them laundered and pressed at a local cheapo dry cleaners! So, I'm recycling. I also know someone who is getting married in the fall, so I will see if she wants to do the same. Thanks for the links to the crossword puzzles and other games. I may use them!

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  6. I feel so stupid asking this, but did you make these in Word?? LOL I started playing around with the idea and I'm having a heck of a time trying to make them look cool! Any tips you could give us wanna be's?! ;) Thank you!!!!

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  7. You make me want to have tables! We're doing a picnic-blanket wedding, but this idea is so wicked awesome that I may have to find a way to work it into our wedding somewhere- maybe in one of the pre-event dinners or parties. Thanks for sharing the great links!

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  8. LOVE. A LOT.
    Thanks for the links to the game generators, too! WOOT!

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  9. Good Question Carren!

    If you're using Word, Publisher, or Photoshop, basically I did an 11 x 17 landscape, and I set the margins close but not to the edge.

    Then I would also recommend using the Help to set your background of pieces to transparent, so they don't overlap each other. Also, use WordArt for the little titles, and set images to "In Front of text" to make them easier to move around.

    If you have any other questions, let me know! I'm happy to help. :)

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    • Liz, thank you for the tips! I'm going to try again tonight. I do have one more question (for now!), the word search, how did you manage to get it from the site to your placemat. I know it lets you "save as" but I don't know how to get it onto the placemat! It's funny how you think you are a computer genius until you try to do something uber creative on it! lol I totally think you should go in business making these by the way! I have been telling everyone about them! I mean, I know you can go to a restaurant and see them, but I never once thought to use them until you posted this! Freaking amazing! Thank you again for the tips and help and for sharing this wonderful idea!

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      • I cheated a bit – I took a screenshot, using PrintScreen button, then opened it in Paint and cut it down to size, saving it as a jpg. I also actually cropped it into pieces to stack it vertically – since I didn't want it to take up as much room as it was when it was generated.

        Just make sure you give people enough room to use it! My first try had all the boxes and lines way too small – and I really want guests to use them, with crayons when possible :)

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  10. Thats a really good question Carren!!! Me and the fiance love this idea and really want to have paper place mats symbolize our wedding and who we are… total geeks, losers [in a good way] and big kids. Our only concern is how everyone else, especially the older guest will react to them.

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  11. I think you should consider cutting out the shields and scrap book them!!! sort of like a guest book. People can then write, draw, or do both to wish you a happy marriage. And instead of having to recycle or throw out the mat, you have a really awesome guest book!

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  12. These are so incredible! Consider your wonderful idea respectfully borrowed. Did you print them on a normal printer, or did you go somewhere to get them printed off?

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  13. Or you could just cover the tables with butcher paper and have lots of markers/crayons for people to draw or write whatever they want. You can take pictures or save their creations and recycle the paper afterwards.

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